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Think You're Eating Gluten-Free? Think Again.

Australia is awash with gluten-free foods that are not actually gluten-free, according to new research.

In an analysis of 169 imported foods that were labelled "gluten-free", researchers found gluten in 24 of the products.

Crackers, bread, biscuits, cereals, flour, grains, condiments, sauces, spices, pasta, drinks, soups, snacks and confectionery were among the products tested, originating from Europe, Asia and North and South America.

The research was published in The Medical Journal of Australia and Professor Geoff Forbes said: "Saying that something is truly gluten-free is almost a misnomer.’’

"There is an incredibly small amount of gluten in any food. It just depends what is a practical amount to be included and for a coeliac patient to be exposed to. But coeliac patients should feel safe consuming most 'gluten-free' products in Australia.’’

Earlier this year, Coeliac Australia reissued its support for an Australian standard, which tastes that products labelled ''gluten-free" must contain no detectable levels of gluten.

Coeliac disease is a condition that causes the immune system to react abnormally to gluten, a protein that is found in rye, barley and oats. It affects around one in 70 Australians.

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